May 092019
 


James Ensor The frightful musicians 1891

 

How Julian Assange Changed Journalism (Stefania Maurizi)
Pamela Anderson’s Assange Blanket Conceals The Truth Of His Detention (G.)
China Backtracked On Nearly All Aspects Of US Trade Deal (R.)
Trump Blames Bolton For Embroiling Him In Potential Venezuelan Quagmire (Week)
Trump Predicts Dem Investigation Will Drive Him To 2020 Win (Hill)
Steele’s Stunning Pre-FISA Confession (Solomon)
Democrats Vote To Hold Attorney General Barr In Contempt Of Congress (G.)
Democrats Showing Contempt By Holding William Barr In Contempt (Turley)
Democrats Know Mueller Can’t Discuss His Report (Schoen)
James Comey Is In Trouble And He Knows It (Hill)
Time to Start Worrying About Global Corporate Debt – Bank of England (DQ)
Greek Bonds Yield Less Than Treasurys – As Irrational As In 2007 (Ashoka Mody)
The Fight to Save Wild Salmon- Have We Reached The End Of Wild? (G.)
Only A Third Of World’s Great Rivers Remain Free Flowing (G.)
Proposal To Spend 25% Of EU Budget On Climate Change (BBC)

 

 

The entire media left Assange to rot in hell. This is from a longer interview with Maurizi. It captures the essence.

How Julian Assange Changed Journalism (Stefania Maurizi)

For me it has been really shocking to witness how Julian Assange has declined in the last nine years. I have been able to see changes in Julian’s health and psychology. It was so sad, and no one could do anything. I could report on it and expose it but the other media and public opinion did absolutely nothing to make the government understand how terrible his treatment was. And all this is happening not in Russia, not in North Korea, this is happening in London, in the heart of Europe. I now realize how little we can do in our democracy.


If you look at what has happened to high-profile whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, and an important publisher like Assange, who had the courage to publish these important revelations, what did your democracy do to save them, to treat them in a human way? Chelsea Manning was put in prison for seven years, where she tried to commit suicide twice. Now she is back in prison. Edward Snowden was forced to leave the U.S. Julian Assange has spent nine years in detainment and no one did anything. We were reporting, we were denouncing, we were exposing how seriously his health was declining. Nothing happened.

Read more …

A great example of how it’s done. I stumbled upon this in the Guardian, “Ask Hadley” by one Hadley Freemen. Yes the kind of thing men won’t read, it’s directed at women. Who in this way get told what to think of Assange. The rape smear against him from MI6 et al has been more successful than anything else in turning especially women against him. This is how. It’s vile and it’s very dirty. And this Hadley person has no qualms about throwing another woman, Pamela Anderson, under the bus to do it. Because, you know, of her reputation.

Pamela Anderson’s Assange Blanket Conceals The Truth Of His Detention (G.)

Anderson made a long comment to the handily assembled press ranks outside the jail after her visit. She talked about how horrifically unjust it was that Assange was “really cut off from everybody”, to which you can only answer: “Well then, he should be delighted, given he chose to do exactly that for the past seven years when he holed himself up in the Ecuadorean embassy.” Anderson continued: “He does not deserve to be in a supermax prison. He has never committed a violent act. He is an innocent person.”


‘Nothing makes a woman look more credible than writing “Cromwell” on a blanket and then standing outside a prison.’ Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

And again, Ms Anderson, one must beg to remind you that, while that may all be true, no one knows that for certain because – and apologies for bringing up this inconvenient truth yet again – he avoided extradition to Sweden to answer to crimes he is accused of by hiding out in an embassy in Knightsbridge for seven flipping years. You remember that, right? You visited him there. That place where your warrior for truth would – according to Ecuador’s UK ambassador, Jaime Marchán – leave half-eaten meals in the sink. As Andrew O’Hagan explained way back in 2014 when describing what it was like spending time with Assange: “If you asked him to do the dishes, he would say he was trying to free economic slaves in China and had no time to wash up.”


Anderson added: “He is a good man, he is an incredible person. I love him.” She clearly rather fancies herself and Assange as the 21st century’s Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller (as opposed to what they actually are, which is a real-life Harley Quinn and Joker from Batman: The Animated Series). Still, good for you, Pamela! Love is a wondrous thing. This column sincerely hopes you have many happy years of washing his dishes ahead of you. Anyway, just in case Anderson’s word salad was not sufficiently persuasive, she also wore a blanket emblazoned with writing that included the words “free speech”, “gagged” and “Cromwell”. Because, honestly, nothing makes a woman look more credible than writing “Cromwell” on a blanket and then standing outside a prison. Anderson is just the latest in a long and not especially noble line of people who have decided that the best way to express themselves is by writing words on their clothing.

Read more …

“The talks were so bad that the real surprise is that it took Trump until Sunday to blow up,” the source said.”

China Backtracked On Nearly All Aspects Of US Trade Deal (R.)

The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, according to three U.S. government sources and three private sector sources briefed on the talks. The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands, the sources told Reuters. In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.

U.S. President Donald Trump responded in a tweet on Sunday vowing to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent on Friday – timed to land in the middle of a scheduled visit by China’s Vice Premier Liu He to Washington to continue trade talks. The stripping of binding legal language from the draft struck directly at the highest priority of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer – who views changes to Chinese laws as essential to verifying compliance after years of what U.S. officials have called empty reform promises. Lighthizer has pushed hard for an enforcement regime more like those used for punitive economic sanctions – such as those imposed on North Korea or Iran – than a typical trade deal.


“This undermines the core architecture of the deal,” said a Washington-based source with knowledge of the talks. [..] Liu last week told Lighthizer and Mnuchin that they needed to trust China to fulfil its pledges through administrative and regulatory changes, two of the sources said. Both Mnuchin and Lighthizer considered that unacceptable, given China’s history of failing to fulfil reform pledges. One private-sector source briefed on the talks said the last round of negotiations had gone very poorly because “China got greedy”. “China reneged on a dozen things, if not more … The talks were so bad that the real surprise is that it took Trump until Sunday to blow up,” the source said.

Read more …

If we could get rid of Bolton and Pompeo this way, great! For now though, Trump doesn’t want to start wars, but he won’t fire the warmongers either.

Trump Blames Bolton For Embroiling Him In Potential Venezuelan Quagmire (Week)

President Trump is having second thoughts about “his administration’s aggressive strategy in Venezuela,” complaining to aides and advisers that “he was misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman,” President Nicolas Maduro, with opposition leader Juan Guadió, The Washington Post reports. “The president’s dissatisfaction has crystallized around National Security Adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires.”


Officially, U.S. policy in Venezuela is the same, and last week’s failed effort to oust Maduro has “effectively shelved serious discussion of a heavy U.S. military response,” and “Trump is now not inclined to order any sort of military intervention in Venezuela,” the Post reports, citing current and former officials and outside advisers. Instead, the U.S. is settling in to wait out Maduro on the expectation he will fall on his own, with the help of U.S. sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin “is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela,” Trump said last week, after a 90-minute phone call with Putin. “And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid.” U.S. officials say Russia is deeply involved in backing Maduro.

Read more …

A constitutional crisis?

Trump Predicts Dem Investigation Will Drive Him To 2020 Win (Hill)

President Trump, speaking at a rally hours after the White House invoked executive privilege to block the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report, predicted congressional Democrats’ investigations would propel him to a reelection victory in 2020. Trump did not directly address his administration’s decision to defy a subpoena from House Democrats, a move that raised the specter of a constitutional crisis, but he said the party’s desire to probe his administration, campaign and businesses would backfire politically. “They want to do investigations instead of investments,” the president told a crowd of supporters at an outdoor amphitheater just steps from the Gulf of Mexico. “I think it drives us on to victory in 2020.”


Trump said Democrats’ focus on investigations is a “disgrace” and that they should instead work with him on infrastructure, lowering drug prices and improving veterans’ health care. [..] Trump mentioned Barr only in passing during the Wednesday rally but did not address the proceedings. “Now the Democrats — we have a great attorney general — now the Democrats are saying, ‘We want more.’ You know, it was going to be like, ‘We want the Mueller report.’ Now they say, ‘Mueller report? No, we want to start all over again.’”

Read more …

This will go far. This is very damning.

Steele’s Stunning Pre-FISA Confession (Solomon)

If ever there were an admission that taints the FBI’s secret warrant to surveil Donald Trump’s campaign, it sat buried for more than 2 1/2 years in the files of a high-ranking State Department official. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline. And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.

Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm. The memos were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United. Kavalec’s notes do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told me. Senate and House Judiciary investigators told me they did not know about them, even though they investigated Steele’s behavior in 2017-18.


One member of Congress transmitted the memos this week to the Department of Justice’s inspector general, fearing its investigation of FISA abuses may not have had access to them. Nonetheless, the FBI is doing its best to keep much of Kavalec’s information secret by retroactively claiming it is classified, even though it was originally marked unclassified in 2016. The apparent effort to hide Kavalec’s notes from her contact with Steele has persisted for some time. State officials acknowledged a year ago they received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016, and got a more detailed briefing in October 2016 and referred the information to the FBI.

Read more …

From what I can see, this is quite weak. Jonathan Turley explains why in the next article: “..the contempt action against Barr is long on action and short on contempt ..”

Democrats Vote To Hold Attorney General Barr In Contempt Of Congress (G.)

House Democrats voted on Wednesday to hold the US attorney general, William Barr, in contempt of Congress, citing his failure to hand over the full, unredacted version of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The decision came on a day of escalating tensions between Congress and the White House. Earlier on Wednesday, the White House invoked executive privilege to block the House judiciary committee’s request for the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. Later in the day, the House intelligence committee chair, Adam Schiff, subpoenaed Barr for “documents and materials related Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including all counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials produced during the Special Counsel’s investigation, the full unredacted report, and the underlying evidence”.


According to a statement from Schiff’s office, the justice department must produce the documents by 15 May. The Senate intelligence committee, meanwhile, has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr, two people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press. The panel is calling in the president’s son to answer questions about his 2017 testimony to the panel as part of its investigation into Russian election interference. It is the first known subpoena of a member of Donald Trump‘s immediate family, and a new sign that the Senate panel is continuing with its own Russia investigation even after the release of Mueller’s report on the same subject.

Read more …

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and represented the House of Representatives in its successful challenge to executive actions under the Affordable Care Act..

Democrats Showing Contempt By Holding William Barr In Contempt (Turley)

The House Judiciary Committee is voting to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress and to secure a vote of the entire House of Representatives in order to send the matter to federal court. The problem is that the contempt action against Barr is long on action and short on contempt. Indeed, with a superficial charge, the House could seriously undermine its credibility in the ongoing conflicts with the White House. Congress is right on a number of complaints against the White House, including possible cases of contempt, but this is not one of them. As someone who has represented the House of Representatives, my concern is that this one violates a legal version of the Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm.”


This could do great harm, not to Barr, but to the House. It is the weakest possible case to bring against the administration, and likely to be an example of a bad case making bad law for the House. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler laid out the case for contempt. He raised three often repeated complaints against Barr in that he failed to release an unredacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller, allegedly lied twice to Congress, and refused to appear before the committee. Yet, notably, the only claim the committee seeks to put before a federal court is the redaction of the report. That seems rather curious since, if Barr lied or refused a subpoena as House leaders claim, it normally would be an easy case of contempt. The reason for this move is that House Democrats know both claims would not withstand even a cursory judicial review.

Read more …

David Schoen is a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer.

Democrats Know Mueller Can’t Discuss His Report (Schoen)

When Mueller accepted his appointment as special counsel, he did so fully aware of the federal regulations governing his office. The regulations make it absolutely clear that the special counsel is prohibited from discussing his report publicly. Leading members of Congress now demanding that Mueller testify know he is barred from doing so. The current special counsel regulations were passed while they were members of Congress. In 1978, Congress passed the Ethics in Government Act. It created a process for appointing special prosecutors. This is a different position from special counsels like Mueller. Under the 1978 law, Congress could mandate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Congress could remove the special prosecutor, and the special prosecutor was required to report to Congress. The executive and legislative branches were both a direct part of the process.


However, the law on special prosecutors expired and it was not renewed. In 1999, the special counsel regulations under which Mueller was appointed became law and remain in effect today. These regulations were written and heavily promoted by President Bill Clinton’s administration. They changed the 1978 law in several important ways. Under the current regulations, the special counsel does not report to Congress. Congress cannot require the appointment or removal of a special counsel. These powers and duties lie exclusively with the attorney general. Section 600.9 of the special counsel regulations backed by the Clinton administration places very limited requirements on the attorney general in regard to what he needs to provide to Congress, and he has already exceeded these requirements.

Read more …

“A strategy of insulting the executioner right before he swings his ax is an odd one but, then, Comey has a long record of odd decisions and questionable judgment.”

James Comey Is In Trouble And He Knows It (Hill)

James Comey’s planet is getting noticeably warmer. Attorney General William Barr’s emissions are the suspected cause. Barr has made plain that he intends to examine carefully how and why Comey, as FBI director, decided that the bureau should investigate two presidential campaigns and if, in so doing, any rules or laws were broken. In light of this, the fired former FBI director apparently has decided that photos of him on Twitter standing amid tall trees and in the middle of empty country roads, acting all metaphysical, is no longer a sufficient strategy. No, Comey has realized, probably too late, that he has to try to counter, more directly, the narrative being set by the unsparing attorney general whose words in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week landed in the Trump-opposition world like holy water on Linda Blair. Shrieking heads haven’t stopped spinning since.


And so we’ve seen Comey get real busy lately. First he penned a curious op-ed in The New York Times. Then a Times reporter, with whom Comey has cooperated in the past, wrote a news article exposing an early, controversial investigative technique against the Trump campaign in an attempt to get out front and excuse it. Next, Comey is scheduled to be encouraged on a friendly cable news “town hall.” In the op-ed, Comey trotted out his now-familiar St. James schtick, freely pronouncing on the morality of others. He sees himself as a kind of Pontiff-of-the-Potomac working his beads, but comes across more like an unraveling Captain Queeg working his ball bearings. Comey adjudged the president as “amoral.” He declared the attorney general to be “formidable” but “lacking inner strength” unlike — the inference is clear — Comey himself. A strategy of insulting the executioner right before he swings his ax is an odd one but, then, Comey has a long record of odd decisions and questionable judgment.

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[From 2008 to 2016] “the number of Chinese companies issuing bonds soared from just 68 to a peak of 1,451..”

Time to Start Worrying About Global Corporate Debt – Bank of England (DQ)

By 2016, emerging market corporations were issuing ten times more money ($711 billion) than before, much of it in hard foreign currencies (mainly euros, dollars and yen) that will prove much harder to pay back if their local currency slides, as is happening in Turkey and Argentina right now. Although bond issuance by emerging market companies declined by 29% in 2017 and remained around the same level in 2018, it is still approximately 7.5 times higher than the pre-crisis level. Much of the increase has been driven by China as it transitioned from a negligible level of issuance of corporate debt prior to the 2008 crisis to a record issuance amount of $590 billion in 2016.


During that time the number of Chinese companies issuing bonds soared from just 68 to a peak of 1,451 and the total amount of corporate debt in China exploded from $4 trillion to almost $17 trillion, according to BIS data. By late 2018 it had reached $19.7 trillion. “There has been a persistent buildup of private debt to record levels in China,” Cunliffe said. Much of this increase took place in the direct aftermath of the financial crisis. The largest increases have been in the corporate sector, mainly in state-owned enterprises. At last count, China’s corporate debt-to-GDP ratio was 153%, enough to earn it seventh place on WOLF STREET’s leaderboard of countries with the most monstrous corporate debt pileups (as a proportion of GDP), 18 places above the US. This chart compares the rise of non-financial corporate debt in China and the US:

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“Why would investors expect the euro to appreciate? [..] such a scenario is highly implausible.”

Greek Bonds Yield Less Than Treasurys – As Irrational As In 2007 (Ashoka Mody)

Yields on five-year Greek government bonds are lower than those of U.S. Treasurys — and have been this way for the past month. Yes, on 3- and 5-year bonds, Greece, with its rating deep in junk territory, pays investors less than the double-A-plus-rated U.S. government does. Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and French government bonds — also lower-rated than the U.S. — offer lower, indeed considerably lower, yields than the U.S. government does, even for 10-year maturities. Even if we stipulate that Greece’s government is, in fact, as creditworthy as the U.S. government, why would investors accept a lower yield on the Greek bond? And why are they willing to accept the even lower yields on the bonds of other eurozone governments?

One possible reason is that they expect the euro to appreciate. Despite the low eurozone bond yields, investors may expect eventually to boost their returns by selling the expensive euros and buying cheaper dollars and other currencies. Indeed, there is some basis for such a strategy. As of late April, the consensus among analysts was that the euro will appreciate significantly over the next couple of years, and more modestly thereafter; forward markets (where buyers and sellers settle the price of a future transaction in advance) support this consensus view.


But if expectations of an appreciating euro solve the low-bond-yield puzzle, they raise another, deeper puzzle. Why would investors expect the euro to appreciate? [..] such a scenario is highly implausible. Current growth forecasts point worryingly in the opposite direction. The IMF projects world economic growth to slow more markedly than it already did a year ago. Crucially, of all major economies, those in the eurozone appear to be decelerating particularly quickly.

Read more …

Fish farms kill.

Have We Reached The End Of Wild? (G.)

In salmon’s case, we have interrupted one of the most dramatic cycles of nature, the wild fish’s journey from the rivers where they spawn to the oceans where they grow and back again. The result is that fish have died, species that eat them have died, communities that depend on them have faded, the food supply has been polluted and a lot of tax dollars have been wasted. [..] In an inspired gambit, Artifishal takes a swerve into the metaphyscial, framing the salmon emergency as a question about the human soul, about what it needs – about what we need – to survive.


The contention of the film-makers is that while it may be human nature to seek dominion and control over the rest of nature, the very thing we need to survive is precisely that which defies our control, that thing which, when we seek to subjugate it, instead either slips through our nets, or is caught and dies. If we drive the wild to extinction, the film suggests, we will bring our own that much closer. “I really hope the film leaves the viewer with this disquieting question, which is, have we reached the end of wild?” said Murphy in a phone conversation near the end of a tour to promote the movie, which debuted at the Tribeca film festival after a tour of screenings in Patagonia stores. “At the outset we kept wondering if we would find a bad guy. And we didn’t. In fact, I kept feeling that the force of antagonism was us – we’re the bad guy. Because humans just are always looking out for themselves.”

Read more …

More damage from renewables. There’s no free lunch. The sooner we get that straight, the better.

Only A Third Of World’s Great Rivers Remain Free Flowing (G.)

Only a third of the world’s great rivers remain free flowing, due to the impact of dams that are drastically reducing the benefits healthy rivers provide people and nature, according to a global analysis. Billions of people rely on rivers for water, food and irrigation, but from the Danube to the Yangtze most large rivers are fragmented and degraded. Untouched rivers are largely confined to remote places such as the Arctic and Amazonia. The assessment, the first to tackle the subject on a worldwide level, examined 12m kilometres of rivers and found that just 90 of the 246 rivers more than 1,000km (621 miles) long flowed without interruption.


The scientists, whose research, published in the journal Nature, was led by Günther Grill, at McGill University in Canada, were particularly concerned to discover that only a quarter of long rivers that once flowed freely to the sea, rather than to an inland lake or other river, still had such a course. Separate research in Britain, which included the effects of smaller infrastructure such as weirs, fords and culverts, suggests that 97% of the nation’s river network has been interrupted by human-built structures. Thriving wildlife in rivers is crucial to keeping water clean but freshwater habitats were found to be the hardest hit of all the ecosystems, with wildlife populations having plunged by an average of 83% since 1970 due to dams, overuse of water and pollution.

Great rivers that flow freely are now rare in populated areas. Heavily fragmented rivers include the Danube, Nile, and Euphrates, the Paraná and Missouri in the Americas, the Yangtze and Brahmaputra in Asia, and the Darling in Australia. The Congo and Amazon were found to be among the least affected. The biggest impact comes from physical barriers created by dams, but reservoirs also seriously affect the natural seasonal flow of rivers. “It can be really freaky sometimes, when the electricity is produced one hour on, one hour off, and the river goes up and down by a metre, which is very stressful to the ecosystems downstream,” said Grill. The study estimates that there are about 60,000 large dams worldwide and 3,700 in planning or construction, in addition to millions of smaller dams.

Read more …

A cheap way to get young votes. Don’t fall for it. Thes countries fail even their Paris commitments.

Proposal To Spend 25% Of EU Budget On Climate Change (BBC)

Eight European countries have called for an ambitious strategy to tackle climate change – and to spend a quarter of the entire EU budget on fighting it. The joint statement says the EU should have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 “at the latest”. It was signed by France, Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The group says their plan can “go hand in hand with prosperity” and “set an example for other countries to follow.” The position paper comes ahead of a major summit of European leaders in the Romanian city of Sibiu, beginning on Thursday, which will discuss the future of Europe and the EU’s strategy for the next five years. But not everyone is on board – there are 28 countries in the EU, and several of those absent from the joint position statement are significant players – including Germany.


The position of the eight countries is that climate change has “profound implications for the future of humanity” and that its impacts are already apparent – citing “the heat waves and scorching fires of last summer”. [..] “The EU budget currently under negotiation will be an important tool in this respect: at least 25% of the spending should go to projects aimed at fighting against climate change,” the paper said. Annual EU budgets have spending limits set by what is known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The current one allowed the EU to spend more than €900bn between 2014-2020. The eight-nation group is eyeing the next framework, which is set to cover 2021-2027. [..] At the moment, EU countries are required to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from their 1990 levels by 2020, with the aim of raising that to a 40% reduction by 2030. But many are set to miss these targets – some by a wide margin.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Home Forums Debt Rattle May 9 2019

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  V. Arnold 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #47284

    James Ensor The frightful musicians 1891   • How Julian Assange Changed Journalism (Stefania Maurizi) • Pamela Anderson’s Assange Blanket Conceal
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 9 2019]

    #47285

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    James Ensor The frightful musicians 1891
    Really? I love it…
    What an incredible painting, especially given its time in the continuum…
    Foreshadows much in music’s future…

    #47287

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “How Julian Assange Changed Journalism (Stefania Maurizi)”

    I disagree. He changed journalism by being a journalist? Let’s not remove the bar altogether.

    “nothing to make the government understand how terrible his treatment was”

    Oh no. They definitely understood how horrible it was. But they LOVE how horrible it is. Probably have a hor-gasm every time they think about it, and sleep with a happy, baby smile about it at night. Ah, more journalists who believe and love government! Just before they get put in solitary for contempt for the rest of their lives for mildly embarrassing the third son of a second Senator.

    …And this is why you LIMIT government. “Government is fire. It is force,” As Washington said, it is VIOLENCE. And when you have a psychopath roaming the earth killing people, like government does, you want him on a very short chain, and pointed only at your enemies. LIMITED GOVERNMENT. That is what it means. With OPEN PROCESS, so we can tell what this maniac is up to.

    “Pamela Anderson’s Assange Blanket Conceals the Truth of His Detention (G.)”

    Article, because, “The Guardian”. I have no words for how stupid and offensive this is. But I suppose it’s less bad than last time when they completely fabricated a story about him out of whole cloth, via his CIA enemies in Ecuador – wow, what idiotic clowns! Totally implausible, totally disprovable! — and weren’t discredited then either. Because apparently in Britain, they believe anything you post if it’s made of words.

    “The talks were so bad that the real surprise is that it took Trump until Sunday to blow up,” the source said.”

    Yeah, that became a strange quote when we found out the Chinese – true to all character – are patient and trying to run out the clock by getting up one morning and reversing two years of grueling negotiations. Apparently Trump figured they would pull this, and as the Chinese economy is in very serious trouble right now – what have they, added $20T in debt to keep it floating the last few years? – dropped the tariffs on them that he always wanted to put on in the first place. Why? Because the financial system is going down and we need domestic production for national security. …Oh and a distant second to return jobs to flyoverland before the people burn down S.F. and D.C. So okey-dokey! If they crack they may have to devalue their currency, they can’t get the trade traffic of belt-and-road online fast enough, which is what they’re stalling for.

    ““he was misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman,”

    Golly gee, Batman, who could see THAT coming? Except me and everyone. So like 100% of the time, the neocons prove themselves miserable failures who really want some foreplay for their real goal: war. And with Trump tied up vs the CIA/DNC right now, he can’t fight both fronts. But that doesn’t mean we have the resources to start a 100,000 man invasion either. And without THAT, the neocon’s failure speaks for itself.

    What’s the upshot? Well, looks like Maduro is pushed into Putin’s arms, and Trump and Putin can cut a deal to sort this out, without a war, without a crisis, while discrediting the CIA again and getting them off his back.(just like Syria, including all the shrieking) I mean, they had their chance, right? So who’s fault is it if we cut a deal, make money, and release the country back to Maduro and respect Venezuelan sovereignty now? We’ll see.

    “Trump Predicts Dem Investigation Will Drive Him To 2020 Win (Hill)”

    Probably true, especially with the counter-investigation timed to go smack into the voting booths. We warned them 1,000 times this was not a winning hand, not to put all your eggs in one basket, and to get a real candidate and real policy like jobs and Medicare for all. Nope. RussiaRussiaRussia. Even now, while Trump is attacking Russia directly, as well as indirectly in Venezuela and Iran. No one notices that Trump would be the #worst Putin puppet evah. #ComeBack.

    I did realize last night they are trying to synthesize a Trump campaign. Biden is having health issues, constantly slurring, unable to access his speech center. –No slight to him, he’s an old man! With 5 heart attacks! But why have him out there? Pretend in fake polls he’s stronger than he is? Because they’re running the Buttigeig/Beto “populist upstart” who will galvanize the people against the DNC establishment. …Except they ARE the establishment, it’s painted on. Buttigeig is from Naval Intelligence, the core of the Deep State, and made his bones stealing and bulldozing houses of black and poor folks back in South Bend…to build a casino! Awesome! And get this, this is how you really know – he then charged them for the bulldozing service! Hahahahaha! Does that say ‘man of the people’, or what?

    To mimic the reality they think will work, they will then release the best of the PR-generated upstarts, and Biden will go off into the wings. Ta da! You get both the Progressive side, AND the corporate Democrats on one page again. …Except where it’s all made-up, it’s all lies, and people aren’t in the mood right now.

    “Democrats Vote to Hold Attorney General Barr in Contempt of Congress (G.)”

    This was interesting since Barr was required to release NOTHING to Congress.(Oddly) That was a sheer courtesy. And they don’t care about the report, only removing a prosecutor of their crimes, (hey, isn’t that obstruction??) because the unredacted Mueller report has been available for weeks in a secure room, and no one has gone to read it. They either don’t care what it says, or worse they already know what it says, since Mueller leaked it all along. But whatever, it’s their right, let’s see how it goes.

    Meanwhile, jobs for WI, MI, and PA? Medicare for all? Nope. No time for that!

    “I kept feeling that the force of antagonism was us – we’re the bad guy. Because humans just are always looking out for themselves.”

    Yet somehow, for the 20,000 years before centralization. In the places like Native America or !Kung busmen who are not centralized, somehow! Humans still don’t do this. Never, never do this. Because it’s NOT in our nature. We’re lazy, and that’s a GOOD thing. It takes a violent slavemaster to MAKE us behave this way, whipping tirelessly day and night. Who is that slavemaster? Me? You? Nope.

    “Only a Third of World’s Great Rivers Remain Free Flowing (G.)”

    Don’t worry, the dams in the Missouri are all being wiped out. Nature wins. Yet somwhow we’re mad abouu this? When a bad thing happens, we’re mad, and when the opposite happens we’re mad. We just like being mad and complaining.

    “Proposal to Spend 25% of EU Budget on Climate Change (BBC)”

    I don’t know what more you could do to say “corruption” and “nepotism.” 25% of ALL things, directly to my friends? Who will use them to pay off cronies and buy votes? All legal? Wow. Solyndra got nothin’ on you.

    #47288

    I disagree. He changed journalism by being a journalist? Let’s not remove the bar altogether.

    I disagree with your disagreement. Assange set up the model for sharing leaks anonymously and digitally, “collaborative media partnership” as she calls it. Not doing journalism in and by itself, but building infrastructure. Non-journalists could just as easily have done this, if they’d be smart enough. They likely hate him more for setting up this infrastructure that they’re not sophisticated enough to even touch, than for the leaks themselves. It’s about what could yet be revealed more than what already has been.

    As for China, their problem is nobody wants the yuan, their no. 1 problem right now. That is also a huge driver behind the Belt and Road, because that forces countries to accept at least some of it, or, alternatively, to pay China coveted USD for its services, materials and labor. They export oversupply and get paid in what they most desire, by dozens of countries, all the while gathering and squeezing more debtors under their cloak. It’s the exact model Don Fanucci uses in the Godfather II: “Wet My Beak.”

    #47289

    zerosum
    Participant

    The frightful musicians 1891

    Chicken coming home to roost

    Black swan on the horizon

    Don’t try to hold your breath until you turn blue in the face.

    USA – China trade deal is going to take longer to happen and to take effect. (NAFTA is still here.)
    American companies are spending millions in an effort to get the new NAFTA ratified

    The trilateral trade agreement is currently lacking the requisite amount of support from Democrats for it to be put to a vote in the U.S. Congress

    #47291

    John Day
    Participant

    http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/05/historical-context.html
    (“Watch out for false-flag attack by Israeli submarine on US ship to justify attack on Iran”, sez I.)
    But in what appears to be an attempt to show Tehran who’s boss, and that it’s not bluffing, Washington committed to another threatening display of force. Reuters reports that the USS Abraham Lincoln, which had been dispatched to the Mediterranean last week amid worsening tensions with Iran, has passed through the Suez Canal, the first stop in what appears to be a journey into Iranian waters…
    Last night, Trump issued a statement affirming that the relationship with Iran is “broken beyond repair” and placed new sanctions on Iran’s industrial metals sector.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-09/aircraft-carrier-abraham-lincoln-passes-through-suez-canal-route-iran-tensions-soar

    Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – US secretary of state Mike Pompeo made a surprise four-hour visit to Baghdad on Tuesday in connection to the panic he is trying to trump up, along with US national security adviser and Sheldon Adelson plant John Bolton about Iran supposedly planning to attack US troops in the Middle East.
    For his part, Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said in remarks to the press that Iraq will undertake to ensure the safety of the some 5,000 US troops in Iraq, who are helping the Iraqi army mop up ISIL remnants.
    At the same time, Abdul Mahdi insisted that Iraq would not participate in any economic boycott of any country, which is to say that he declined to cooperate with the Trump administration’s attempts to squeeze Iran.
    Iraqi sources said after the visit was over that Bolton offered to give Iraq a temporary waiver with regard to its trade ties with Iran. He may as well, since he is unlikely to get much cooperation from Shiite-ruled Iraq in the blockade on Iran.
    https://www.juancole.com/2019/05/baghdad-pressure-declines.html

    “Deal of the Century” gets leaked to Israeli newspaper. It is total capitulation by Palestinians, nothing else. Palestinians have nothing to gain through agreeing to this.
    “New Palestine” would not be allowed to form an army but could maintain a police force. Instead, a defence agreement will be signed between Israel and the “New Palestine” in which Israel would defend the new state from any foreign attacks.
    Upon signing the agreement, Hamas will hand over all its weapons to Egypt. The movement’s leaders would be compensated and paid salaries by Arab states while a government is established.
    Elections are expected to be held within one year of the establishment of the “New Palestine” state.

    Israel newspaper publishes terms of ‘Deal of Century’

    Helen has this historical comparison:
    ​ ​It’s worth looking at what triggered the Pearl Harbor attack, because it is happening again. When Japan refused to pull its forces out of China, the US imposed an oil embargo on Japan, cutting the nation off from 80 percent of its oil supply and leaving it no choice but to seek fuel elsewhere. The closest oil was in then-Dutch Indonesia, but US-controlled Philippines physically barred the way. The US had thus almost guaranteed Japan would have to attack the US, allowing Washington to enter the war with the American people’s approval in order to fight Germany, whom Roosevelt perceived as the “real” enemy.
    T​he US has imposed the strictest sanctions on Iran yet, repealing the last waivers last week in the hope of forcing the country into a similarly suicidal act. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if it is blocked from using the waterway, which sees 20 percent of the world’s oil traffic. US officials have deemed such a move “unacceptable,” suggesting massive retaliation would follow, and a US carrier strike group is on its way to the region, supposedly acting on a “credible threat” that Iran plans to target US interests. Regardless of who fires the first shot – and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has warned Trump a false flag attack is extremely likely – war with Iran would be the result, and Americans would be cheering it on. The question is not if, but when.
    ​ ​War with Iran wouldn’t benefit the US at all – a 2002 Pentagon wargame simulation has even indicated the US would lose. But Iran is the strongest enemy of Israel left standing, and Trump’s inner circle – like the neocons at PNAC (whose members included John Bolton) – has made it clear where his priorities lie. Just as laying waste to Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen only created an endless supply of enemies for the US while crossing Israel’s regional rivals off the list, attempting to destroy Iran will have devastating repercussions for the US while ensuring no one is left to challenge Israel’s regional dominance. It is no coincidence that the intel suggesting Iran was plotting an attack on American targets in the Middle East – the tip that triggered the deployment of the carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln to the region last month – came from the Mossad, the Israeli intel agency whose motto is “by deception, thou shalt do war.” Israel has been lying about Iran’s ambitions for decades.
    http://helenofdestroy.com/index.php/90-when-we-were-the-good-guys-us-keeps-invoking-wwii-to-validate-new-wars

    #47292

    zerosum
    Participant

    Do the rulers/eliites of USA hold grudges against Iran?

    Iranian Revolution 1979
    The “Canadian Caper”
    The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq, beginning on 22 September 1980

    #47297

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    In the mid 70’s I worked on a salmon troller (not trawler) in the North Pacific.
    We could already see the negative effects of the hatchery salmon, overseen by the Fish and Wildlife department.
    Smaller fish returning years early, including females with eggs.
    That was bad enough; now f*#king salmon farms?
    With millions of escaped fish interbreeding with wild stock it is indeed the end of the species.
    Fresh, wild, salmon are the most delicious fish in the sea and one of the very best for human health.
    Actually, that should have been written in the past tense…
    I always refuse farmed salmon; always have; tasted, but never eaten, many years ago…

    #47298

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    John Day

    Unlike most Americans (North), I’m very familiar with the true antecedents of the war against Japan.
    This has been going on even prior to the false flag sinking of the Maine in Havana harbor.
    As Henry Ford aid; “History is bunk.”
    I would only qualify that by adding, most history.
    I’m reading a very excellent book by Joseph Heller (of Catch 22 fame) which is (so far) ripping history as we mostly know it; not really at all.
    That is a scary factoid given media’s constant referral to history; 99% of which is false or inaccurate.
    There is virtually no ground to stand upon when it comes to knowledge; every human is purely on their own; no wonder so many are floundering in stormy waters…
    Anyhoo, thanks for the post…

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